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'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I
pray, Had not concluded all. – He wakes ; speak to him.
weep not: Phys. Madam, do you ; 'tis fittest.
If you have poison for me, I will drink it. Cor. How does my royal Jord? How fares your I know, you do not love me ; for your sisters majesty ?
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong: Leir. You do me wrong, to take me out o'the You have some cause, they have not. grave:
No cause, no cause. Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Lear. Am I in France ? Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
In your own kingdom, sir. Do scald like molten lead.
Lear. Do not abuse me. Cor.
Sir, do you know me ? Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great rage, Lear. You are a spirit, I know ; When did you You see, is cur'd in him: and yet it is danger die?
To make him even o'er the time he has lost,
Desire him to go in ; trouble him no more,
You must bear with me : I am mightily abus’d. I should even die with pity, Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish. To see another thus. - I know not what to say.
[Exeunt LEAR, Cordelia, Physician, and I will not swear, these are my hands : — let's see ;
Attendants. I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur’d
Gent. Holds it true, sir, Of my condition.
That the duke of Cornwall was so slain ? Cor. 0, look upon me, sir,
Most certain, sir. And hold your hands in benediction o'er me :-- Gent. Who is conductor of his people ? No, sir, you must not kneel.
As 'tis said, Lear
Pray, do not mock me : The bastard son of Gloster. I am a very foolish fond old man,
They say, Edgar, Fourscore and upward ; and, to deal plainly, His banish'd son, is with the earl of Kent I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.
In Germany. Methinks, I should know you, and know this man; Kent. Report is changeable. Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant 'Tis time to look about ; the powers o'the kingdom What place this is : and all the skill I have Approach apace. Remembers not these garments ; nor I know not Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody. Where I did lodge last night : Do not laugh at me; Fare you well, sir.
[Erit. For, as I am a man, I think this lady
Kent. My point and period will be throughly To be my child Cordelia.
wrought, Cor. And so I am, I am.
Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought. [Erit.
Fear me not :SCENE I. — The Camp of the British Forces,
She, and the duke her husband, near Dover.
Enler ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers. Enter, with drums and colours, EDMUND, REGAN, Officers, Soldiers, and others.
Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me.
į Aside. Edm. Know of the duke, if his last purpose Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.
Sir, this I hear, — The king is come to his daughter, Or, whether since he is advis'd by aught
With others, whom the rigour of our state To change the course : He's full of alteration, Forc'd to cry out.
Where I could not be honest, And self-reproving: - bring his constant pleasure. I never yet was valiant : for this business,
[To an Officer, who goes out. It toucheth us as France invades our land, Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried. Not bolds the king ; with others, whom, I fear, Edm. 'Tis to be doubted, madam.
Most just and heavy causes make oppose. Reg.
Now, sweet lord, Edm. Sir, you speak nobly. You know the goodness I intend upon you :
Why is this reason'd? Tell me,
- but truly, — but then speak the truth, Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy: Do you not love my sister ?
For these domestick and particular broils Edm.
In honour'd love. Are not to question here. Reg. But have you never found my brother's way Alb.
Let us then determine To the forefended place ?
With the ancient of war on our proceedings. Edm.
That thought abuses you. Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent. Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct Reg. Sister, you'll go with us? And bosom’d with her, as far as we call hers.
Gon. No. Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.
Reg. 'Tis most convenient ; pray you, go with u.. Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord, Gon. O, ho, I know the riddle: [Aside." I will Be not familiar with her.
As they are going out, enter Edgar, disguised.
SCENE III. - The British Camp near Dover. Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so
Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, EDMUSE; poor,
Lear and CORDELIA, as prisoners; Officers, Hear me one word.
Soldiers, &c. Alb.
I'll overtake you. Speak. [Ereunt EDMUND, REGAN, GONERIL, Officers,
Edm. Some officers take them away: good guard; Soldiers, and Attendants.
Until their greater pleasures first be known Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
That are to censure them. If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
We are not the first, For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst. I can produce a champion, that will prove
For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down; What is avouched there : If you miscarry,
Myself could else out-frown false fortune's frown. Your business of the world hath so an end,
Shall we not see these daughters, and these sisters? And machination ceases. Fortune love you!
Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison: Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.
We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage : Edg.
I was forbid it. When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down, When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And ask of thee forgiveness : So we'll live, And I'll appear again.
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues paper.
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses, and who wins; who's in, who's out; Re-enter EDMUND.
And take upon us the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies. And we'll wear out, Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your
In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones, powers.
That ebb and flow by the moon. Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
Take them away. By diligent discovery; but your haste Is now urg'd on you.
Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught Alb. We will greet the time. (Erit.
thee? Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love; He that parts us, shall bring a brand from heaven, Each jealous of the other, as the stung,
And fire us hence, like foxes. Wipe thine eyes; Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take? Both ? one? or neither ? Neither can be enjoy'd,
The goujeers shall devour them, flesh and fell, If both remain alive: To take the widow,
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see them start
first. Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
Come. And hardly shall I carry out my side,
[Exeunt Lear and CORDELIA, guardca Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
Edm. Come hither, captain ; hark. His countenance for the battle ; which being done,
Take thou this note; (giving a paper.) go, follo:
them to prison ;
One step I have advanc'd thee: if thou dost
As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way Which he intends to Lear, and to Cordelia,
To noble fortunes: Know thou this, that men The battle done, and they within our power,
Are as the time is : to be tender-minded Shall never see his pardon : for my state
Does not become a sword :— Thy great employment Stands on me to defend, not to debate. (Exit.
Will not bear question ; - either say, thou'lt do',
Or thrive by other means. SCENE II. A Field between the two Camps.
I'll do't, my lord. Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, Lear,
Edm. About it; and write happy, wlien thou
hast done. CORDELIA, and their Forces; and ereunt.
Mark, - I say, instantly; and
carry Enter EDGAR and GLOSTER.
As I have set it down.
Off. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats; Edg. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree
If it be man's work, I will do it. [Erit Officer. For your good host; pray that the right may thrive :
Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAX, If ever I return to you again,
Officers, and Attendants. l'il bring you comfort.
Alb. Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant Glo.
strain, [Erit EDGAR, And fortune led you well: You have the captives
Who were the opposites of this day's strife: Alarums; afterwards a Retreat. Re-enter EDGAR.
We do require them of you ; so to use them, Edg. Away, old man, give me thy hand, away; As we shall find their merits and our safety King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en : May equally determine. Give me thy hand, come on.
Sir, I thought it fit Glo. No further, sir ; a man may rot even here. To send the old and miserable king Edg. What, in ill thoughts again? Men must To some retention and appointed guard ; endure
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more, Their going hence, even as their coming hither : To pluck the common bosom on his side, Ripeness is all : Come on.
And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
And that's true too. Which do command them. With
My reason all the same; and they are ready All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.
This sickness grows upon me. We sweat, and bleed : the friend hath lost his friend;
Enter a Herald. And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent. By those that feel their sharpness :
[Erit Regan, led. In question of Cordelia, and her father,
Come hither, herald, Let the trumpet sound, Requires a fitter place.
And read out this.
of Sound, trumpet. [A trumpet sounds. I hold you but a subject of this war,
That's as we list to grace him. If any man of quality, or degree, within the lists of Muthinks, our pleasure might have been demanded, the army, will maintain upon Edmund, supposed earl Ere you had spoke so far.
He led our powers;
of Gloster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear Bore the commission of my place and person ;
at the third suund of the trumpet : He is bold in his The which immediacy may well stand up,
defence. And call itself your brother.
[1 Trumpet. Gon.
Not so lot:
[2 Trumpet. Iz his own grace he doth exalt himself,
(3 Trumpet. More than in your advancement.
[Trumpet answers within. Reg.
In my rights,
Enter By me invested, he compeers the best.
armed, preceded by a trumpet. Gon. That were the most, if he should husband Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears you.
Upon this call o' the trumpet. Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
What are you? Gon.
Holla, holla! Your name, your quality ? and why you answer That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint. This present summons ? Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer Edg.
Know, my name is lost; From a full-flowing stomach. General,
By treason's tooth bare gnawn, and canker-bit : Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony; Yet am I noble, as the adversary Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine : I come to cope withal. Witness the world, that I create thee here
Which is that adversary ? My lord and master.
Edg. What's he, that speaks for Edmund earl of Gon. Mean you to enjoy him ?
Gloster ? Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will. Edm. Himself ; - What say'st thou to him ? Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Draw thy sword ; Alb.
Half-blooded fellow, yes. That, if my speech offend a noble heart, Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine. thine.
[To EDMUND. Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours, Alb. Stay yet; hear reason :- Edmund, i arrest My vath, and my profession; I protest, thee
Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence, On capital treason ; and, in thy arrest,
Despite thy victor sword, and fire-new fortune, This gilded serpent : (Pointing to Gox.]- for your Thy valour, and thy heart, - thou art a traitor : claim, fair sister,
False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father; I bar it in the interest of my wife ;
Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious prince; 'Tis sue is sub-contracted to this lord,
And, from the extremest upward of thy head, And I, her husband, contradict your bans.
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet, If you will marry, make your love to me,
A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou, No, My lady is bespoke.
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits, are bent Gon. An interlude!
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak, Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloster :
Let the trumpet
Thou liest. sound:
Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name; If none appear to prove upon thy person,
But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike, Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding breathes, There is my pledge ; [Throwing down a glove.] What safe and nicely I might well delay I'll prove it on thy heart,
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn: Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head; Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart; Reg.
Sick, O, sick! Which, (for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise,) Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [Aside. This sword of mine shall give them instant way, Edm. There's my exchange: [ Throwing down a Where they shall rest for ever. — - Trumpets, speak. glove.] what in the world he is
(Alarums. They fight. EDMUND falls. That names me traitor, villain-like he lies :
Alb. O save him, save him! Call by thy trumpet : he that dares approach,
This is mere practice, Gloster : On him, on you, (who not ?) I will maintain By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer My truth and honour firmly.
An unknown opposite ; thou art not vanquish’d, Alb. A herald, ho?
But cozen'd and beguil'd.
Shut your mouth, dane, dib. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers, Or with this paper shall I stop it :- Hold, sir :.
Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil: As be'd burst heaven; threw him on my father : No tearing, lady ; I perceive you know it.
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him, (Gives the letter to Edmund. That ever ear receiv’d: which in recounting Gon. Say, if I do: the laws are mine not thine : His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life Who shall arraign me for’t ?
Began to crack : Twice then the trumpet soundel, Alb.
Most monstrous ! And there I left him tranc'd. Know'st thou this paper ?
But who was this? Gon.
Ask me not what I know. Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in dis (Erit Goneril.
guise Alb. Go after her : she's desperate ; govern her. Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service
[ To an Officer, who goes out. Improper for a slave. Edm. What you have charg'd me with, that have I done ;
Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody knife. And more, much more : the time will bring it out; Gent. Help! help! O help! 'Tis past, and so am I: But what art thou,
What kind of help? That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble,
Speak, man. I do forgive thee.
Edg. What means that bloody knife?
'Tis hot, it smokes; I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund; It came even from the heart of If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me.
Who, man? speak. My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
Gent. Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
By her is poison'd; she confesses it. Make instruments to scourge us :
Edm. I was contracted to them both; all three The dark and vicious place where thee he got, Now marry in an instant. Cost him his eyes.
Alb. Produce their bodies, be they alive or Edm. Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true;
dead! The wheel is come full circie; I am here.
This judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble, Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophesy Touches us not with pity. [Eril Gentleman. A royal nobleness : - I must embrace thee;
Here comes Kent, sir. Edg.
Worthy prince, Alb. O! it is he.
The time will not allow the compliment,
very manners urges. How have you known the miseries of your father? Kent.
I am come Edg. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief To bid my king and master aye good night;
Is he not here? And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burst! Alb.
Great thing of us forgot! The bloody proclamation to escape,
Speak, Edmund, where's the king; and where's That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetness !
[The bodies of GONERIL and Regan are Into a mad-man's rags ; to assume a semblance
brought in. That very dogs disdain'd: and in this habit
Kent. Alack, why thus ? Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Yet Edmund was belor'd : Their precious stones new lost ; became his guide, The one the other poison'd for my sake, Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair; And after slew herself. Never (O fault !) reveal’d myself unto him,
Alb. Even so. — Cover their faces. Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d,
Edm. I pant for life:- Some good I mean to do, Not sure, though hoping, of this good success, Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send, I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last
Be brief in it, - to the castle ; for my writ Told him my pilgrimage : But his flaw'd heart, Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia :(Alack, too weak the conflict to support!)
Nay, send in time. Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
Run, run, 0, runBurst smilingly.
Edg. To who, my lord ?- Who has the office? send Edm. This speech of yours hath mov'd me, Thy token of reprieve. And shall, perchance, do good: but speak you on;
Edm. Well thought on ; take my sword, You look as you had something more to say:
Give it the captain. Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in ; Alb. Haste thee, for thy life. [Exit Engar. For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me Hearing of this.
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and Edg.
This would have seem'd a period To lay the blame upon her own despair, To such as love not sorrow; but another,
That she fordid herself. To amplify too-much, would make much more, Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence And top extremity.
[EDMUND is borne nff. Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man, Who having seen me in my worst estate,
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms; Shunn'd my abhorr'd society ; but then, finding
Engar, Officer, and others. Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl ! O, He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out
men of stones;
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain it is That heaven's vault should crack :—0, she is gone That we present us to him. for ever!
Very bootless. I know when one is dead, and when one lives; She's dead as earth : — Lend me a looking-glass;
Enter an Officer. If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
of Edmund is dead, my lord. Why, then she lives.
That's but a trifle here. Kent.
Is this the promis'd end ? You lords, and noble friends, know our intent. Edg. Or image of that horror ?
What comfort to this great decay may come,
Fall, and cease! Shall be applied : For us, we will resign,
To him our absolute power : You, to your rights; That ever I have felt.
[To Edgar and Kent. Kent.
O my good master! [K'neeling. With boot, and such addition as your honours Lear. Pr’ythee, away.
Have more than merited. — All friends shall taste Edg.
'Tis noble Kent, your friend. The wages of their virtue, and all foes Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! The cup of their deservings. — 0, see, see ! I might have sav'd her; now she's gone for Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no ever!
life: Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, What is't thou say'st ? Her voice was ever soft,
And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt come no Gentle, and low : an excellent thing in woman:I kill'd the slave that was a hanging thee.
Never, never, never, never, never! off: "Tis true, my lords, he did.
Pray you, undo this button : Thank you, sir. Lear. Did I not, fellow ? | Do you see this ? Look on her, — look,
- ber I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion
lips, I would have made them skip : I am old now,
Look there, look there!
[He dies. And these same crosses spoil me. — Who are you? Edy. He faints ! - My lord, my lord, Mine eyes are none o'the best :
- I'll tell you
Kent. Break, heart; I pr’ythee, break ! straight.
Look up, my lord. Kent. If fortune bray of two she lov'd and hated, Kent. Vex. not his ghost : 0, let him pass! he One of them we behold.
hates him, Lear. This is a dull sighl. Are you not Kent? That would upon the rack of this rough world Kent.
Stretch him out longer. Your servant Kent: Where is your servant Caius ? Edg.
0, he is
indeed. Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that ;
K’ent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so long : He'll strike, and quickly too : He's dead and He but usurp'd his life. rotten.
Alb. Bear them from hence.
- Our present Kent. No, my good lord ; I am the very man;
business Lear. I'll see that straight.
Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you twain Kent. That, from your first of differenee and
[To Kent and EDGAR. decay,
Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain. Have follow'd your sad steps.
Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; Lear.
You are welcome hither. My master calls, and I must not say, no. Kent. Nor no man else; all's cheerless, dark, Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey; and deadly.
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. Your eldest daughters have fore-doom'd themselves, | The oldest hath borne most : we, that are young, And desperately are dead.
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
[Ereunt, with a dead march